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Your earliest airshow memories

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  • Firebird
    Avons with attitude
    • Mar 2003
    • 2157

    #41
    Originally posted by Danwheeler65 View Post
    English Electric Lightning flew in at high speed from the East and was almost past when the roar came. As a 10 year old i thought it the most incredible thing I'd ever seen or heard.
    Yep, it was the Lightning that did that for me at my first ever airshow, a September Biggin Hill BofB Day, either 73 or 74, I'm not sure which now, but it was one of the legendary solo displays by Pete Chapman in the white tailed F.3, XP696.
    I was with it all the way until letting the brakes off..........

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    • Black Knight
      Rank 5 Registered User
      • Oct 2003
      • 1893

      #42
      Never saw a Lightning fly, best I got was the 2 at Brunty running down the runway about 20 years ago. My father saying it's nothing compared to standing on the edge of Farnboro's runway with 9 going off

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      • Danwheeler65
        Rank 5 Registered User
        • Mar 2016
        • 11

        #43
        Originally posted by Firebird View Post

        Yep, it was the Lightning that did that for me at my first ever airshow, a September Biggin Hill BofB Day, either 73 or 74, I'm not sure which now, but it was one of the legendary solo displays by Pete Chapman in the white tailed F.3, XP696.
        I wish I could remember who the pilot was Firebird but if it was Pete Chapman, it was indeed legendary. The display started with the high speed pass, it then showed the full range of manoeuvres throughout the speed range and finally after the penultimate pass he took a large orbit away from the display line, building speed all the time and then came in for a final pass as fast as his arrival to pull up into the "alternative " vertical take off. All accompanied with the usual innards altering rumble that only a Lightning could give you. Halcyon days.

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        • Firebird
          Avons with attitude
          • Mar 2003
          • 2157

          #44
          Originally posted by Black Knight View Post
          Never saw a Lightning fly, best I got was the 2 at Brunty running down the runway about 20 years ago. My father saying it's nothing compared to standing on the edge of Farnboro's runway with 9 going off
          Standing in the wierd gloom and rain at Binbrook on 22nd Aug 1987 for the terrific 9-ship stream take-off at the Last, Last Lightning Show was something else.....can't believe that's now 32 years ago
          I was with it all the way until letting the brakes off..........

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          • Shorty01
            Short Member
            • Jul 2003
            • 741

            #45
            I'm not sure if it counts as an airshow but the Larkhill Artillery Day in the early 70's. I remember a watching a Sioux hovering over us through Binoculars and Canberras coming over. We also got to see tanks/guns firing live ordnance at old tank hulks. H & S would have a fit at that these days!

            My first proper airshow was Yeovilton in 1975. I remember walking up to the back of a Phantom and being amazed how big it was. I was 7 years old. It was one of the first times Tomcats had visited. A short time later they had a panic when they lost one over the side of a carrier along with all it's secret bits. That was on the telly news for a while.
            It's the one you don't see that gets you (usually)...

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            • Paul F
              Retired Lawnmower Racer
              • May 2005
              • 1107

              #46
              My first airshow was sometime in the late 60s or, more probably, early 70s (I know it was before 1972 which was my first visit to a Farnborough show). My cousin and her then boyfriend knew I was interested in planes, so kindly took me to an air display at Blackbushe, organised by The Barnstormers.
              I remember an aerial limbo act (probably Druine Turbulents) flying under a rope, and flour bombing (same group of Turbulents) dropping bags of flour onto a moving van). There was also Colonel Crackshot who hung out of the side door of a moving helicopter (Bell 47?), firing his pistol at balloons tethered on the ground. I also remember the program listed an Avro Vulcan display. Probably a Tiger Moth, and a crazy flying act too. Sadly thats about all I can remember, and it was before I had a camera of my own, so no photos to help.
              The program itself was a single A5 sheet of (IIRC) pink paper with a simple typed list of acts and times they would appear I found it many years later, and think it may still be lurking in one of my aviation books, placed between pages to flatten it and keep it safe maybe it will resurface.
              From memory it was typical British weather, including grey sky and heavy showers.

              I think my next airshow was probably Farnborough in September 1972, with Concorde G-BSST, the VFW 614/Fokker F27/F28 combo display, the VC10 with one pair of RR Conways replaced by a single RB211, and the Cathay Pacific marked TriStar with a smiley face sticking in my memory (though the Tristar may have been at a later show, and I may even be remembering the RB211 VC10 from the TV coverage around that time?). No doubt my spotters log book would remind me what else I saw.
              That was another show with a torrential downpour I remember us all running back to the family car, passing a dropped airband radio laying in the very wet grass, on the way, and wondering whether I dare pick it up and acquire it ( I didnt, and it was a year or two before I could save up enough pocket money to buy one of my own).

              Comment

              • Propstrike
                Rank 5 Registered User
                • Mar 2004
                • 3995

                #47
                Barnstormers kept alive the Flying Circus tradition, I wish they were still around.

                There is a dedicated facebook page with lots of photos/memories etc you might enjoy https://www.facebook.com/groups/500049076711666/

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                • RJH
                  RJH
                  Rank 5 Registered User
                  • Feb 2015
                  • 79

                  #48
                  My first was Hucknall 1959. With dad on the bus via Nottingham where there was a 'special' service to the airfield laid on by Nottingham City Transport.
                  Spitfire AB910 and Hurricane LF363. Only discovered recently that the Spitfire was being flown by Jeffrey Quill.
                  Also had a KB50 refuelling similar types to those mentioned earlier - F.101A, F.100D and a RB.66B ?
                  Blue diamonds, a Bucker Jungmeister, and numerous others that I don't remember - I was only only ten and a half !
                  Derby Airways DC3s doing pleasure flights before the display.

                  Lots of memories since. Farnborough 1964 with Lightning display team, 6 x Lightnings winding up one at a time just in front of us i their stream take off ! Finningley airshows with the 4 ship Vulcan scramble as mentioned earlier. Much missed Mildenhall displays - especially those proper burgers ! RIATs at Fairford, including the time the Italian Starfighter coming in fast from the right - a bit late to fly up and under his slow flying mate coming the other way so going for it - just on the verge of Mach 1 giving an effect that felt like a thump in the chest. The tannoy speaker near us was distorted after that so must have damaged the cone !

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                  • Chris Cussen
                    Rank 5 Registered User
                    • Jul 2012
                    • 92

                    #49
                    14 September 1957, Gibraltar Battle of Britian airshow. Shackelton did a belly landing in front of the crowd due to a misunderstanding in the cockpit it arrived at low altitude with all the engines turned off. I remember seeing it slide past with the props bending and the tail wheel bouncing along side. Nobody was injured.

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                    • trumper
                      Rank 5 Registered User
                      • Aug 2003
                      • 6695

                      #50
                      Originally posted by ZRX61 View Post
                      The *unofficial* one at Bentwaters that got Robin Olds an interview without tea. I guess I was maybe 6.
                      Ooooh tell us more

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                      • farnboroughrob
                        Rank 5 Registered User
                        • Dec 2008
                        • 615

                        #51
                        Mine was the 1977 IAT at Greenham Common. That year it featured a tiger meet with tiger striped RCAF CF-104 and Mystere IVA, also Australian Navy A-4's, P-51 I-BILL, and tonnes of F-104's, Phantoms, Buccaneers, F-100's and the like, . Second show a few weeks later was the Blackbushe 1977 air festival. The line up included a Ju52 paradrop and other Doug Arnold warbirds, leisure Sport WW1 replicas, flypasts from carvair, DC-8 and CL44. After that first farnborough 78, Biggin and Yeovilton 79....

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